200519 Baghdad
Iraqi counter-terrorism forces stand guard in front of the US embassy in the capital Baghdad. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: Iraqi intelligence officers have arrested the killer of activist Shilan Rauf and her parents in Erbil, where he fled after he committed the crime, local media reported.

The Kurdistan Counter-Terrorism Foundation has broadcast the purported confession of the murderer of the Kurdish family in the Mansour area in Baghdad.

The daughter, Shilan Rauf, was a pharmacist and an activist and the mother, Alia Rashid Najm, was an employee in the religious and charitable institution.

The suspect is Mahdi Hussein Nasser, who lives in the Habibiya area in the suburbs of Baghdad and works as an Interior Ministry security officer, guarding the Russian embassy in the Iraqi capital.

The Russian embassy is located near the house of the three victims, in a supposedly fully secured area, where the Bahraini embassy building is also located. It is difficult for anyone to enter the building, raising doubts about the possibility of armed militias committing the crime, given the role of the pharmacist in treating the injured protesters.

The perpetrator of the massacre said in his confessions that he got to know Shilan’s father by virtue of working with him.

“I needed a sum of money and asked him to loan me the money, but the latter refused and said that he did not have the money and then a verbal altercation took place between us,” Nasser said.

He added he found a knife near him, so he stabbed the father of the pharmacist, who fell to the ground, then his wife entered and he stabbed her too, and she fell on the ground as well.

The perpetrator said he dragged the two bodies to the bathroom and opened the faucet on them to erase traces of blood, but Shilan saw what happened and hit him with a cigarette extinguisher, claiming that he tried to calm her down without success.

The perpetrator cleaned the place and then searched for money and found about 10,000 dollars, in addition to some Iraqi money.

He took the money and mobile phones of the victims and the knife and put it in a bag. Then he went out and threw the crime tool on the Army Channel road east of Baghdad, and traveled to Erbil, where he rented a room in a hotel.

He tried to travel to Turkey but could not as he was arrested at the hotel.

In two separate statements, Iraqi doctors’ and pharmacist’s syndicates denounced the assassination of the Kurdish family.